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Shalom! Novus Rotary visits synagogue

David Lebens shows visitors the copies of the Torah — the Hebrew Bible — kept in the synagogue
Please click on the photo above to see more of the Torah Ark where the sacred scrolls are kept

Eleven members and guests of Leicester Novus Rotary visited the Leicester Hebrew Congregation synagogue in Highfields Street.

Led by President Kartar Singh Bring, a chaplain at a number of hospitals in the east and west Midlands, the club is trying to visit a number of different faith centres so members can learn more about their city.

Novus is one of the most diverse Rotary clubs in the area with four Sikhs in the party that visited the synagogue, which was opened in 1898, thanks to the generosity of a number of Jewish families, including that of Israel Hart, Mayor of Leicester in 1884-6 and 1893-94.

Guide and host David Lebens said that the number of Jewish families in Leicester was at its height in the post-war period and that now there are about 50 Jewish families in the city. But the synagogue — aligned to face Jerusalem — is one of the few in the UK to still have a full-time rabbi, Shmuli Pink.

Mr Lebens showed the Novus party around the beautiful building and talked about the beliefs and practices of Jews and said that he had started learning Hebrew and about Judaism in an upstairs toom. That room had been transformed with help from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is now welcoming 3,000 schoolchildren a year.

The Rotary visitors asked plenty of questions and thanked David for his time and knowledge and afterwards stood in the cold on the pavement for many minutes discussing what they had learned.

If you want to learn more about the Jewish community in Leicester, please follow this link:

If you want to know more about Novus Rotary, please explore this website or use the Contact Us button at the top of this page to e-mail us .

Last edited: 23:20 on Thursday, 21/10/2021